Protecting Our Environment
I’ve been involved with protecting our environment for as long as I can remember. Moving from the concrete jungle of Los Angeles to the East Bay community of Moraga when I was 12 was like a dream come true for me. A community surrounded by oak woodlands and redwood forests became my playground and fostered a deep seated desire to protect our natural environment.
Right out of college, I started a solar energy company because I believed then, and still do, that we need to use energy wisely and implement alternative energy sources that are clean, renewable and affordable. In 1986, together with my wife Susan, an environmental scientist, we started ACC Environmental Consultants. ACC grew into a diversified 30-person firm that managed the removal of cancer-causing asbestos from buildings, performed site assessments, wetlands restoration, and the removal of underground tanks and contaminants in soil and groundwater. As a result, I have an in depth understanding of environment issues and the risks posed by hazardous materials and contaminants in our environment.
When my wife Susan and I arrived in Sonoma County fifteen years ago we became deeply involved with the Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, a non-profit organization that protects, restores, and builds public appreciation of the Laguna, a recognized Wetlands of International Importance.
Susan and I served on the Board of Directors for a total of 8 years and were major donors and the project managers for the construction of Laguna Environmental Center. Completed in 2011, the center is the headquarters of the Foundation and is visited by thousands of school children and adults each year.
Climate Adaptation Initiative
While Sonoma County leads the nation's local governments in the development of a coordinated greenhouse gas mitigation strategy, I strongly support a parallel effort focused on climate adaptation. I believe we are at a pivotal moment when science must inform local planning by predicting future local-scale climate, defining vulnerabilities, quantifying uncertainties, and outlining response strategies.
The environmental scientists I have worked with all believe there is much more we should be doing to prepare our County for the affects of climate change because it will have deleterious effects on our water supplies, crop viability, pollination, stream and wetland systems, and fish and wildlife habitats. These are the ecosystem services that support our local economy and need to be protected and strengthened as our planet warms.
The North Bay Climate Adaptation Initiative (NBCAI) is a collaboration of our local environmental scientists and organizations that have been working on this problem for years now. We need to put these scientists to work for us to develop a comprehensive plan for our County and more importantly execute that plan to enable Sonoma County, its residents and its flora and fauna to adapt to climate change.